What the New Tax Bill Means for You

tax bill

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act recently signed into law, you’re now doubt wondering how this 2017 tax bill will affect your future taxes and wages. Infinity Financial Services in Oakland takes a closer look at how the bill will impact individuals/households and businesses in the Bay Area.

For Businesses

The top corporate tax rate – that is, the one which applies to publicly-traded companies – drops from 35% to 21% in 2018. Also, the new tax bill means significant changes for “pass-through” businesses, which are businesses that don’t file taxes as an entity (i.e. a brick and mortar business), but see their taxes passed through to the owner’s individual tax return. Most of these businesses are small businesses: sole proprietorships, limited liability companies, and the like. Under the new law, business owners can deduct 20% of their pass-through income before the income is taxed at the applicable rate.
Regarding social security, employees who paid 6.2% in social security taxes on each paycheck last year will pay 4.2% in 2018, applicable to yearly incomes up to $106,800. Also, the 2018 tax bill ushers out several deductions that some businesses and workers were accustomed to claiming, such as:

  1. Unreimbursed employee expenses
  2. Tax preparation expenses
  3. Moving expense
  4. Casualty and theft losses
  5. Employer-subsidized parking and transportation reimbursement
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Our Predictions for the Financial Industry in 2018

prediction

It’s difficult predicting anything in this mile-a-minute, digitized world we live in, but Infinity Financial Services in Oakland has put its collective heads together, analyzed countless financial trends, and developed several predictions for the financial industry in 2018 that we feel comfortable providing to you, the reader.

The S&P 500 Will Cross 2,900

Stocks have posted gains for eight straight years (2010 - 2017), key indices have broken numerous records, and we’re clearly residing in what has become a bull market for the ages. In December the S&P 500 was up 19.5% year-to-date (YTD), an all-time high, and it more than doubled its historical annual average.
Bond prices and interest rates are low, corporate earnings are strong, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could considerably boost bottom lines in the corporate world, especially with certain restrictive regulations being rolled back.

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Three Types of Small Business Retirement Plans

small business

There’s a lot of perks to owning a small business. Making your dreams a reality is one of them. But, every small business owner knows that it comes with some unique challenges and responsibilities. Everything is on your shoulders, from accounting to marketing and HR, it’s 100% up to you. Just when you think you’ve got everything covered, something else crosses your mind.

Retirement

You’re responsible for your own retirement planning and also might want to consider offering a plan to your wonderful employees. Many small business owners immediately start thinking about 401Ks because that’s what they’re familiar with. However, there are other types of retirement plans that fit better into the small business structure.

SEP IRA

The Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Arrangement, or SEP IRA, is a variation of the standard IRA that most people are familiar with. SEP IRAs are plans where contributions are made only by the employer and are considered a tax-deductible business expense. This type of plan is perfect for self-employed individuals and small businesses with any number of employees.

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Top 4 Tax Tips for Individuals in 2018

tax tip

Tax season is finally in full swing, but it wasn’t that long ago there was some uncertainty about what the new tax regulations were going to mean for individuals filing their taxes this year. For the most part, changes in the tax code aren’t affecting how people are filing their taxes this year but could have an impact on what happens a year from now.

What’s important right now is that individuals filing their taxes are taking advantage of every perk and preparing for the year ahead. Since there’s still a little time before the April 17 filing deadline, now is the perfect time to talk about optimizing your tax return and preparing for the year ahead with these four tax tips.

Deduct Mortgage Interest While You Still Can

Up until December 31st of last year, home owners could deduct mortgage interest on up to a maximum of $1.1 million in debt. For 2018, this rule has changed to apply only to the first $750, 000 of debt. Individuals with high end real estate want to make the most out of their deductions this year, and plan for the year ahead.

Also, if refinancing your home is on your mind, you might want to reconsider. Any new refinancing mortgage starting this year will be subject to the new home acquisition indebtedness rules.

Changes in the ATM Affect Stock Options

Exemptions for the AMT, or Alternative Minimum Tax have increased to $70,300 for individuals and $109,400 for married couples that file jointly. The fact that fewer people are subject to the AMT under new guidelines means some individuals will find they have additional stock options.

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New Year’s Resolutions: Tips for Saving More in 2018!

tip jar

Everyone wants to save more money, but many people don’t know where to start. Infinity Financial Services, leaders in financial planning near Oakland, provides its clients with the necessary tools to get moving and never look back. In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, here are some tips for saving more in 2018.

Make a Budget

Easiest tip first, right? Not so fast. A large percentage of Americans have a hard time creating a budget, let alone maintaining one week to week and month to month. But trust us when we say that in order to get started on saving near Oakland, a budget is a must. Start by determining your monthly expenses and recording them in a spreadsheet. Then add in expenses that don’t occur every month, like a dental checkup or car maintenance. In a separate column, list your monthly income. This type of basic budget goes a long way towards helping you plan your monthly spending and minimize overspending.

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How to Create an Estate Planning Checklist

planning checklist

Estate planning is an important “life step” that provides a clear, comprehensive blueprint for how your family is cared for in the event of your death or disability. The best estate plans follow an estate planning checklist that ensures nothing is overlooked and that all important topics are considered. The following checklist from Infinity Financial Services in Oakland is a useful tool as you engage the estate-planning process

Start with the Basics

The basics of any sound estate plan are:

  • Designating beneficiaries
  • Defining ownership of assets (who gets what)
  • Medical treatment planning
  • Guardianship of any minors
  • Completion of one or more estate planning forms
  • Exploration of estate-tax reductions
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